Victoria has been here so many times before. No-one knew she was here and wherever she placed herself, they never would. Her body had been kept trim in order to remain able to watch whoever she wanted, wherever she wanted. She was like no other killer before her or since.
Victoria sat in the child’s playhouse as dusk settled in the garden of the Duckerton’s. The cheap new plastic smell filled her lungs with every breath. It was supposed to resemble a real house but windows that open out and even the door had a lock on it that she had been forced to lock herself as it had been banging against the house in the breeze, so not to attract its attention. It had obviously not been used as it was in an immaculate condition and the stickers of flowers on the outside hadn’t even begun to peel off yet.
Mrs Duckerton was preparing the usual main meal of the day and could smell something with a lot of garlic being put together. It would be time to make her move when they were eating.
She had the knack of moving and not making a single noise, even on creaky floorboards. Not making a noise in her auntie’s creaky, ancient mansion was something she’d mastered during her long stays there as a child. Her lack of sleep would mean that she could wander the house seeing how long she could potter around without being heard or noticed. If her family knew how many times she had watched, literally inches from them as they slept they would freak out. There were never any urges or need to kill any of her family whilst she would practice her silence skills. She loved them all and it would be worst thing in the world to lose any of them.
Victoria saw her carrying the plates into the dining room, quietly exited the playhouse and looked at either neighbour’s kitchen windows to check that no-one was watching and moved stealth like towards the back window that had been left open to allow the heat/smells waft out of it. The strategically placed boulder from the garden that she had placed underneath the window the previous night provided a makeshift step for her to stretch her body through the window, hardly touching any of the surfaces as she moved. Both adults in the house would just presume that the other had moved it there and forget to mention it to the other one if they had casually spotted it had been moved.
The family would be sat at the dining table facing the wall, as they did every night with their baby twins at either side of the table facing each other. If even the babies were to see her, they would hardly raise suspicion and point her out to their parents. A peek around the corner of the kitchen revealed to her that they were tucking in to their lovely freshly prepared meal. The need for them to savour the food with every bite overwhelmed Victoria as she knew it would be their last. Brisk but silent footsteps allowed her to walk behind the family without even being spotted by either child.
As Victoria approached the front of the main lounge towards the stairs, someone knocked on the large oak front door. Luckily she had been alone in the house enough to know where was good to hide. As the man of the house shut the door on the charity worker, the smell of the sweat coming off him and his body odour made her feel so good. The reason she had been attracted to this family in the first place was the smell of him. As he returned to the dining table Victoria continued her journey up the stairs and into the master bedroom. This place was so familiar to her; she had seen it so many times and knew exactly where to stay to remain unnoticeable until the time was right.
At 7.20pm the couple brought the baby twins to bed; they had decided for their twins to have separate bedrooms and took it in turns to put them to bed each night. Behind the piles of clothes Victoria could hear the cooing noises and infantilization that was involved in the process of speaking to babies. It had been at this point on many a night; that Victoria had returned downstairs, hidden and watched as the Duckerton’s had sat cuddled up on the couch for hours just watching TV and drinking. She had thought it tiresome, boring and a waste of their time; they could have been doing something far more constructive than that. The boredom of watching them cuddle had meant that the remainder of the evenings had been spent behind their clothes waiting for them to venture up the stairs. That is where the fun began.
Waiting for them to complete their bedtime ritual is one of the things Victoria really look forward to, it gave her an insight to what was important to people; this couple were just the same. Sometimes they would cuddle, other times make love and she would wait for them to fall into a deep sleep. Tonight she watched and waited for the initial twitching to stop and the rapid eye movements and mumbling to begin. Tonight like every other night previously, she would climb down out of the open plan wardrobes from behind the clothes not making the slightest creak. This route had been perfected by performing it ritualistically during the day for weeks whilst the house was empty.
Victoria stood at the foot of the bed and watched as they slept holding each other, sharing their body heat after a session of oral sexual pleasure. Neither had cleaned their teeth afterwards which had sickened her slightly, but she wasn’t going to be kissing them. In fact no-one would be from now on.
The weapon of choice sat in her hand and she unfolded it from its sheath. It glistened in the moonlight, shining through the uncovered windows. Victoria looked down at it and then stepped up onto the bed with her left foot first. The wife was a heavier sleeper so her side of the bed would be easiest to rock slightly. She then pulled her right foot up onto the bed, using her hands to make it a gentler landing, eased her fairy steps closer towards their waists. When she had positioned herself into the precise vantage point; she put her hand into her pocket, brought out the bottle and poured the liquid on a cotton wool pad.
Victoria squatted down, leaned over her and ever so slightly she rubbed the side of her neck with the cotton wool pad. Again, this was something she had done a few times before but without the liquid on it. She had been testing the woman’s reaction to the feeling to see if it would be safe. After the application Victoria grabbed her weapon up from the bed sheets, finished counting to thirty and then sliced her carotid artery; the anaesthetic doing its job to render the wound painless.
As the short bursts of blood channeled out of the wound she turned to Mr Duckerton, pushed him onto his back using her right foot onto his left shoulder, and just as he was rousing she stabbed him through his chest cavity into his heart. He writhed around for a few seconds but the wrestling submission move Victoria placed on him straight after the impact rendered his battle useless. Even for such a slender, petite woman she had a tonne load of strength. She positioned him so he could see the last remaining bursts of blood trickle from his wife’s neck.
Victoria could feel him losing consciousness just as the wound turned to a steady stream. After another minute of Victoria rubbing her body all over him, transferring his smell onto her, she let go of the submission hold, stood back up onto the bed and turned to look at the fitted wardrobes that she had sold them. She smiled and admired her work. These two were less worthy than her and now they were in their rightful place.
Victoria walked off the bed and grabbed their house phone which was situated on the landing area. She walked into one of the twin’s bedroom, the one she has grown fondest to whilst watching them and she she stood looking at her she knew that what she was about to do would save them both from the disappointing vacuum of a life if these two would have been left to raise them.
Victoria pressed the button to get a ringtone, dialed 999 and left the house the same way she had left on the other nights. Totally undetected.
Victoria had an average upbringing. No abuse, no traumatic experiences from an Uncle or other male relatives. She went to decent schools and achieved higher grades than anyone who knew her thought she would. The family that she had were all kind, apart from the odd one that all families have and never wanted for anything. Her parents always tried their hardest to get her anything that she wished for and had taken her and her younger sister on numerous holidays all over the UK and Europe, collecting shells, making sandcastles, looking for crabs, playing swing ball and listening to the collective urinating in the communal bucket.
Victoria loved playing hide and seek with her friends in the local abandoned school near her house, playing Monopoly and other board games with her family and the early computer games which she preferred to the more visually real games of today. There were many friends in her life, from the ones she made at primary school who would mould her ways of socialising to the early boyfriends whose relationship with her were the boys who didn’t say she smelt or had head lice. You know really romantic comments. The friends she made in secondary school were all known as‘geeks’ and‘nerds’ but she didn’t mind because she know and had been told by her Grandparents that geeks and nerds always found good jobs, whilst the bullies almost always syphoned the state for benefits and jobs that they would hate until death took them early from life. Little did she know then that she would take people earlier no matter what kind of educational needs they had?
Close male and female friends who she could immediately turn to and who would turn to her in hard times. She watched TV like any other child and young adult, boozed earlier than other teenagers do and had a few experiences that she regrets but none powerful enough for them to damage her enough to kill for a reason.
There was no cliché that a normal serial killer can attach to themselves to justify why she did these things. No boyfriends that beat her, no bullying that was bad enough for her to resent anyone in particular. She had not been subjected to any religion that would force her to obey a fictitious lord who would punish you if you did anything bad to people but then also punish you for doing good.
The only different aspect in her life is that she had no ability to orgasm by traditional methods. This had meant she could masturbate furiously for hours and never have the end result. Boyfriends in the past had become frustrated that she there was no ending to all of their hard work and so knew that this had been the reason for many of them to leave her. Some men just need the reassurance that they are doing a great job, and some of those couldn’t handle it. She loved the feeling of being penetrated and the fact that she could enjoy it for longer than other women but the men in her life could never keep up with her, so to speak. She enjoyed watching her pray for extended periods; pretending to be happy families and masturbating as much as she could in what she was seeing so she could enjoy the experience with them in her own way.
The whole sexual thing was not that much of a big deal to her in life when she had more important issues to bother herself with. She had a bigger purpose in life and one that did not allow her the time of such complicated relationships and all the explaining that comes with having someone close and killing people has.
Victoria just loved the feeling of getting to know someone and then viciously taking their life force away so she could feel superior to them and she inspired to be the greatest predator that ever lived.
Victoria would prevail over everybody else, no matter who they were. This was her orgasm and she wanted to keep the feeling going forever.
Victoria walked into work that morning at her usual part time hour of 10.30am. Her boss Martin had agreed these times after Victoria had persuaded him that customers didn’t usually turn up until 11am at the earliest. To be honest Martin would do anything to keep Victoria working for him. She was great with the customers, knew exactly what they wanted even if they didn’t yet, she would go into the most minute detail of the bedroom furniture you would think she lived and breathed them. She was a very good saleswoman to both sexes and seemed to have the knack of persuading them to making the changes that would cost them more money but make it beneficial to them.
She was petite at five foot four inches and was always dressed immaculately, in a very professional way for her job. She was not what the media would class and drop dead stunning but she was far from ugly. Victoria had something about her that attracted most people to her and her confidence was off the charts, just teetering on the brink of being conceited but not quite there to annoy people. She had shoulder length light brownish hair that she always wore up on a bunch at work but came down the moment she walked out of the shop when she finished. She had a petite body with very little curves of any sort that she tried her best to make the most of with specialised underwear and clothes that fashion magazines told her would accentuate her body to its fullest. She had always been this size from the age of eleven. Victoria remembers beginning secondary school and all of a sudden being the first one to start developing in her class. She had swaggered for a few months until almost all of the other girls had surpassed her and she remained the same, apart from a small amount of growth on her behind and breasts when she was sixteen, but blinked and you would have missed it.
Victoria had worked for Martin since returning to Hull five years ago. She had studied Criminology at London Metropolitan University but returned when she could not find any jobs for her. Returning to her family home had seemed the most appropriate thing to do until she found a job. After two months of signing on in the most depressing and soul vacuuming place on earth that was the City’s job centre, she happened to walk past a bedroom furniture shop on Spring Bank West that had a notice on the door looking for staff. She walked in, took the notice out of the window and asked to speak to the manager. She was immediately granted an interview and for the next forty five minutes she sold herself enough for Martin to think that he would foolish not to employ her. He has never looked back and despite the fact that he has tried to come on to her on three occasions, which she had brushed off, he knew she was the best thing that had happened to his business since he opened the shop seven years before she had walked in. Other employees had come and gone but she had remained loyal and to the best of his knowledge, never looked for another job. The only thing she could not do was cover for him whilst he was on holiday, he didn’t ask but she could not open the shop at nine in the morning or stay until seven in the evening to close it. Every time he is due to go on holiday, his other workers have to step up instead. On the last occasion when he went on holiday; Carl the person who was covering for him disappeared two days before his return. He has still not been found to this day.
Carl and Victoria had just finished their best week at the store without Martin there since Carl had begun his employment with them. The high five that they gave each other was truly awesome, knowing that they were excellent at their job and Martin would be so pleased and that these sales this week alone would keep the shop afloat for another four to five months. After the high five came a cuddle and after the cuddle came the kiss. Carl had to bend down slightly to reach Victoria’s lips but met them they did. Victoria had always fancied him but had kept her emotions and feelings to herself as it would be too complicated. However, the moment he bent over to kiss her there was only one thing she could do and that was to reciprocate. After the kiss, they both stared at each other and she nodded to him. Neither of them could wait to shut the shop up and even though it was only fifty seven minutes, it felt as if both of them were living in slow motion for a week. They locked the front door and put the shutters down, got into Carl’s car and drove to Victoria’s house.
On the journey, Victoria was assessing her house in her mind to see if it would be safe for Carl to view it. Thank fully Victoria was usually immaculate with her evidence hiding but it had been known that due to her having to straighten her hair, the odd morning had been known to be slightly hectic and her forget to put the odd tool away that should be hidden in case of a sudden raid.
The car stopped and they both got out. “Have you got any protection?” Victoria asked, only her actually knowing that it could be construed as a double meaning. “Yes I do but I don’t want you to think that I was expecting it or that I always kept one for this purpose” Carl answered sheepishly. “I just always have one as my Dad told me to always be prepared”.
The following twenty five minutes was a passion fueled intensive love making fest.
In the morning, Carl woke up and went to make him and Victoria breakfast. Ten minutes later, leant over to feel for Carl’s wonderful body that had pleasured her so much the previous evening and night; but he wasn’t there. Victoria sat up so fast that she got a slight head rush. She jumped out of bed and ran around the top floor of her house. Carl heard the commotion from the kitchen and came to the bottom of the stairs to see what was happening. “Are you okay up there?”
“Oh you are down there?” she snapped, realized her tone and changed it immediately. “I was worried that you had just left without saying goodbye” she sidestepping and ignoring her previous tone of voice.
“I am down here making you some breakfast. Well as best as I can with what you have got”.
“It’s okay; I don’t usually have breakfast but will have some if you have made it. I will be down in ten minutes, I’ll just sort myself out.”
After a lovely breakfast they both made their way to work, opened the shutters and before unlocking the door, they kissed in the back of the shop. The first customer through the door as Carl opened it couldn’t help but notice that he was happy about something, the obvious bulge in his trousers told her that. It also had a positive outcome of the decision to buy the bedroom suite as long as he came and saw it after it had been fitted. It was a stipulation that obviously had Carl wondering why but agreed anyway because it was a sale.
As the day ended Carl wanted to meet up with Victoria later but she had brushed him off as she had other plans. The plans involved the Kennedy’s who she had been watching each night for the past week, apart from last night obviously, and she needed to restart her observations so she could rid the world of those less worthy than her.
Carl must have asked seventeen questions why she would not meet him as he did not like sixteen of the answers. The seventeenth answer was more of a response “Don’t fucking stifle me Carl; we shagged each other once and spent the night together. Stop getting clingy already, let’s take it slow” she had snapped as her shift ended and she was walking out of the door. How was she to know that he would see her later on?
Victoria laid flat in the back of the Kennedy’s wardrobe waiting for them both to get back from work about 9pm and come straight to bed. She knew that they worked away for a door to door sales company from the conversation she had with them when they had bought the furniture. They had always came home together, checked the downstairs was secure and then come to bed. This happened on every week night, which tonight was. A weekend night was much busier, as the Kennedys usually had all of their friends over for what can only be described as an uncontrollable piss up. Victoria must have seen no more than seven couples soil the Kennedy’s sheets on one night, no shame that everyone else was downstairs probably more than aware that this was happening. Victoria didn’t even know if the couples entering the room were actual couples or put together by a fruit bowl and some car keys.
At 9.34pm the Kennedy’s station wagon pulled up onto the drive, car doors slammed and the front door opened. As soon as the house door closed the shouting began, she could hear that the argument was about a sale that had fallen through that day. He was blaming her for being too vicious in her pitch and she was telling him that he was a pussy. Great intellectual argument I think you’ll agree. He did not appreciate her every response telling him that he was a pussy. She was like listening to an assertive teenager with only one come back line. He was becoming more and more irate with every mention of the belittling feline insult to the point where he stormed up the stairs like he was wearing boots that got heavier with every step and lay on top of the bed fully clothed.
“Shall I sleep down here then, Just like the gentleman you are!” Victoria saw him shoot up out of bed like someone rising out of a coffin with purpose and almost run down the stairs. “You go upstairs then you childish fuck!” shouting at her.
This wasn’t going to end well and Victoria was worried that one of them may take this too far and spoil her planned fun. “Don’t you talk to me like that Mark, I was only winding you up!”
“We have both had a bad day and we need to calm down and start again tomorrow, okay?” with a more composed pitch in his voice.
“Maybe we need to unwind” and the sound of glass being chinked was the next thing Victoria heard. She looked around her neat little space that she had created on the plans and came up with a good idea for the next one.
The drinking didn’t last long, Victoria had expected that coupled with a long day & alcohol, it wouldn’t be long before it would effect them. The couple walked upstairs together and as she began to undress, she walked over to Mark and pushed her breasts in his back. “Not tonight Sam, I am both too wound up and tired” he said with the sound of defeat in his voice “I don’t think I could manage to, but hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.” He turned around and kissed both breasts and then began to undress too. Sam walked away like she had been the last one chosen for a team, sullen and with her head drooping towards her nightdress that she had placed there neatly folded at 5am this morning. She put her nightdress over her naked body and clambered in between the bed sheets and faced the wall, away from Mark.
Mark was none the wiser of these non-verbal offerings as he was in the bathroom making the weirdest toilet noises Victoria had ever heard. After seven minutes he finally emerged, walked to the side of the bed, scratched his testicles and climbed into his side of the bed laying on his front. Victoria stared at them laying in the letter K position; Mark on the left and Sam on the right.
When she knew the time was right, she descended from her constructed hidey hole in the fashion she had perfected and lifted the valance up at the end of the Kennedy’s bed. Victoria knew that they would never check under there as they were always in too much of a rush to do anything but get to sleep usually, trust this night to be different, but the outcome had been the same. She pulled out what she had stashed and as quiet as a mute mouse, she assembled what she needed.
The injection just below Mark’s tendon in his ankle will have only felt like a slight tickle or a scratch and even if he awoke, he would only have three seconds to do anything about it, which he didn’t. Victoria then moved towards Sam with the stolen homemade mask and canister, placed the mask ever so slightly over Sam’s face and released the ketamine into her face. Sam’s eyes opened and for the split second that she saw Victoria, or the parts she allowed her to see, would have definitely haunted her if she were had survived the night. Now both were completely under her control just the way she loved it.
Victoria returned to the foot of the bed and grabbed what she needed, walked up on the bed, turned Mark over, straddled his prone body and began. The symbol she etched into his chest with the box knife was one of a clock face with a snake eating itself on it. She had spent weeks trying to perfect the picture as she was never really gifted the skills to be an artist but was happy with the finished product. Victoria leaned back and with her left hand she sliced Mark’s right wrist next to her left leg, swapped the knife into her other hand and sliced Mark’s left wrist next to her right leg. She could feel the warm blood against her legs and it felt so good that it made her feel better than any man or indeed she had in any sexual act she had participated in. She remained straddling him until the flow of the blood had dissipated, then turned her attention back to Sam.
Victoria sat on the floor next to Sam, staring at her face with the crow feet wrinkles at the side of her eyes and the ones starting to form on her top lip from smoking for twenty years that looked like the folds i curtains when they are pushed back too far. Victoria opened Sam’s mouth grabbed her tongue, pulled it out as far as she could and smeared the Botulinum covered pad onto it. Now Victoria knew that alone would kill her but she wanted to leave her mark on her, so she grabbed the knife again dug it into Sam’s skin just underneath her right ear, grabbed hold of her hair to readjust her head and sliced underneath Sam’s jawbone, across her neck and up to the other side of her face underneath her left ear. Victoria then let go of Sam’s hair, stood up, picked up the bag full of her toys and looked at them from the foot of the bed.
She knew that she had let them off easier than others she had killed but the end result remained the same and the satisfaction was just as overwhelming to her. Victoria turned around like a soldier on parade, walked out of the bedroom glancing at where she had laid so many times, down the stairs and opened the front door.
She walked to the end of the footpath and noticed a familiar vehicle parked outside. Carl wound down the car window and waved at her but as she got closer his facial expression changed from the clothes she was wearing. As he tried to wind the window up as fast as he could, like lightening Victoria reached into the bag, grabbed another needle, pierced Carl’s neck with it and plunged the liquid into his system. Another six inches and Victoria’s arm would have been trapped in the window but again she had succeeded.
She unlocked the door from the inside, opened it and pushed Carl into the passenger side, which she made look easier than it should have been. The car’s engine started up and she drove him to the only place she knew would be safe.
No-one came to this place anymore; it was on the banks of the river Humber and the company that had previously owned it had left it derelict two years ago. She had heard that the area was in the pipeline to be a new shopping complex but the local council were having to argue about how spending that much money would justify its development. Victoria secured Carl to the passenger chair and waited for him to wake up.
As Carl roused from his induced state, the last memory he had flashed into his mind and he began to wriggle violently and scream. Victoria knew that no-one would hear him so she waited patiently for him to realize that and then spoke.
“Why did you follow me?” was her first question to him.
“Wha….” Smacking his lips to try and get some moisture back into his mouth “Um…what the hell are you doing? Let me go!” he shouted.
“You aren’t in the position to be ordering anyone about, especially me now are you? Your tiny jealous, besotted mind couldn’t let me just do what I wanted to do tonight and then see you tomorrow could it.” Carl didn’t answer; he just stared directly into her eyes.
“Did you think I was fucking someone else?” and Carl just nodded.“Well I wasn’t, I was ridding this world of two less significant individuals than myself. You see I have a lot of work to do and people like you just get in my way all of the goddamn time. I have tried to stay away from such pathetic rituals as liaising with others, this just acknowledges why I do.”
Carl just sat completely in silent shock with what was exiting the mouth he had touched last night.
“You have ruined a perfect night for me and I can’t allow you to continue. There is only one way this can be rectif…” and was finally interrupted.
“Why are you doing this?” was the only thing Carl could think to say.
“Because there are far too many people out there that think they are worthy of sharing the air I breathe, but they are just futile sycophantic polluters that deserve to have their existence terminated.”
“Let me join you” Carl announced.
This was not at all what Victoria had expected to hear and it actually made her stop and think. The two of them could create such perfect scenarios together, completely under the nose of Martin and the unknowing customers.
“Do you realise what that entails?”
“Yes, I would do anything for you” and then she knew after that statement that she was being deceived.
“Okay, but if I come over there and untie you, you had better not try anything” she warned.
“I won’t, I will succumb to your superior existence.”
Victoria almost vomited at the sheer will of him trying too hard. She opened the driver’s door grabbing the knife as she closed it, walked over to passenger side and cut the restraints that was holding him into the seat. Carl stretched and got out of the car. He walked over to Victoria, holding out his arms to welcome her into them. She walked away and stood at the edge of the embankment, looking out onto the River Humber. “How are we going to do this then” she asked turning to face him. As she did, she could feel him grip her right forearm. Victoria knew where this was going so she used his momentum and flicked her body off the floor reversing the twist on her arm he was about to perform, wrapped her legs around his head, grabbed both of his arms around his back and tensed up all of her muscled until Carl’s body fell to the ground with her still attached to him like an anaconda with her prey.
Victoria grabbed Carl by the legs, laid him in the shallow waters of the Humber, slit every artery she could see and pushed his body into the open water. She walked back to the car and got inside. It had to be found somewhere nowhere near his body so she drove it to an estate known for its high level of crime and threw a lit pad into the already alcohol soaked seats. As she walked away calmly, still wearing her murder stained clothes, she smiled that she had again been victorious and that no-one could stop her.
Victoria sat in the back office waiting with Martin for a customer to walk through the door. It was raining outside, not the rain where people still don’t mind going shopping. It was the type where you have to be equipped to visit Atlantis to stop your bones from getting wet.
Thankfully in times like these the staff at ‘Bedrooms 4 U’ had contingency plans to past the time and relieve the boredom. They played eye spy, which in a bedroom shop became samey very quickly, they had a TV with a budget Freeview box attached to it but the problems were both getting a decent signal and putting up with mind numbing daytime TV. They also had Monopoly which Martin always cheated in.
The thing they usually chose was to log on the work laptops and design newer more outrageous bedrooms on and send them to the warehouse and fitters to see if their designs were possible. They could spend hours coming up with designs, only to be told that they were not viable and this frustrated Victoria as the only reason she did this was to carry on her vicious ways. She would design wardrobes with hidden compartments but then not tell the people who were buying them that they were there. ‘An extra panel for aerating the clothes so they do not become damp or more susceptible to creases’ was another good way she got around designs.
The door opened and two men walked into the shop. Victoria noted that they did not look like a gay couple (because she seemed to know what a gay couple looked like, yes really) so they must either be brothers looking for a bedroom; no, fitters coming to eye up the latest designs; no they never do that, or they must be the Police. Her third choice was correct.
“Could I speak to the owner of the shop please?” the first and more rugged man asked.
“Yes of course” Victoria replied and went to collect Martin, who had already heard the request and was on his way to greet them.
“Can I help you Sir”
“Yes, well I hope so, I am D.I Atkinson and I have come to follow a lead about a double murder.”
“Yes, could we go somewhere to talk?”
“The shop is empty and I doubt anyone will be in soon, plus we can talk in front of Victoria, she is my partner in crime” then dry gulped at the stupid words that he had chosen.
“Er, I mean partner….in the business….here” the two Detectives looked at each other and laughed.
“Okay then Sir but would you mind locking up until we are finished?” Victoria grabbed the keys from behind the till and locked the door. The all sat down on two beds facing each other and the Detective begun.
“We are here because a couple were murdered and few weeks ago in their beds and they had recently purchased the furniture from this shop. Now all we need are the names of the men or company that you hire to fit your furniture so we can eliminate them from our enquiries.”
“Certainly, we use Nobel and Sons, they have a warehouse off Witty Street. I’ll get you their number if you wish.”
“No, that won’t be necessary Mr?”
“Newton, Martin Newton” and held out his hand to shake the Detectives which he reciprocated with a wry smile at the cheesiness of him.
“Do you remember this family coming into the shop? Wallace, show them the picture.” His partner opened an envelope with a picture Victoria knew well. It had been front and center on a mantel piece about a fire place. Both Martin and Victoria looked at the picture in great detail but looked like they didn’t remember them.
“The babies are twins and they purchased the furniture two months ago” Detective Wallace announced.
“Ah yes” Victoria stated “I remember the twins, let me go through our records.”
“There’s no need for that, we just wanted to know if you remembered them. We already know they bought it from here” Atkinson informed them.
“I haven’t seen this in the local paper or on the news” Martin said, speaking up.
“No, we are keeping it quiet for now so we would like your co-operation in that matter” Atkinson replied.
“Of course” Martin agreed and Victoria just slightly nodded.
As the Detectives left the shop, Martin picked up the phone and began to dial.
“What are you doing?” Victoria asked.
“Ringing the Nobels.”
“Put it down now” and he did “If you let them know before the Detectives turn up, if there is a killer there you will give them a head start.”
“Oh yeah, I wasn’t thinking.”
“And if they find out you had rang them, you would look like you are in on it too.”
“It’s just awful isn’t it?” A poor couple murdered in their beds” Victoria saw a pause in his thought and he continued “They never said anything about the twins did they?”
“No and I can’t believe that this hasn’t been on the news.”
It was at that point when she suddenly realized that only her first three kills had received any media attention. She didn’t read the local newspapers or watch the news on the TV as she found it totally and equally brainwashing and mind numbing. However, now the realization that all of her work was not getting the attention it deserved was, to her absolutely unacceptable. Maybe she would have to try harder and make more on an impact to get the recognition she deserves, albeit in an unknown capacity.
On the walls of a room in the Police Station, hung by multi coloured tacks were over a hundred photographs of Victoria’s kills. From the very first kill where she was almost killed herself, right up to the Duckerton’s. There was also a web of lines which tried in its attempts to puzzle things together that made no sense.
The floor of the room had been cleared of hair that had been pulled out over the last two years, sweat that had been strewn across it and blood remnants that had seeped through footwear from all of the work done to try and catch the most vicious, sadistic and ferocious murderer that the city of Kingston upon Hull had ever come across.
Detectives Nick Atkinson and Tom Wallace were the third set of Detectives that had worked this case. The first set, Detective Foster and Gallows had retired not long after the first case. The file was place in a box, in a store room at the bottom of a very long corridor when no clues, motives or even suspects could be found. The person being an 87 year old spinster whose all remaining close relatives had died, no friends and no associates. She only had ITV to keep her company as her aerial only picked up the one channel. There were no prints, hairs or DNA markers to pin point any particular person, so with no relatives to argue that no-one was doing anything about it, the case was left cold.
Only when two other Detectives; Marcus Grant and Thomas Willington picked up the next case of a young married couple of late teen age being murdered in their beds, did Victoria’s exploits start to get investigated again. No-one linked the first case with the second as it had been forgotten and almost seven months between them. There were little pointers that could have matched them together but none that would stand out enough to firmly match the two.
Detectives Grant and Willington also covered the third murder three months after the second. Another couple in their mid-forties had been murdered in their beds with different wounds but similar access/egress to and from the property. Again no traces of a killer could be found but before the Detectives could thoroughly get their teeth into the cases, they were both killed in a ten car pileup on Clive Sullivan Way (a stretch of motorway named after a Cardiff born rugby league player who had played for both Hull FC and arch rivals Hull Kingston Rovers) three weeks after the third set of murders. All three of these murders where televised and reported on in the local news, not so much the first as it only warranted a page fifteen couple of paragraphs story, but the other two were quite well covered by the media. However, when Detectives Atkinson and Wallace were called out to another murder scene almost exactly three months after the third kill, Wallace immediately noticed similarities from the previous two cases that Grant and Willington had been responsible for. After they both spoke to their superior and got him to pass the previous two cases onto them too, taking them from two of the most experienced Detectives in their station, they immediately saw the comparisons to their current murder case.
From that day on, not one media representative had been allowed to report on the following murders in fear of being arrested themselves. After the fourth set of murders, which the only suspected three were linked, there had been five other murder scenes to deal with almost every two months for the next ten months. Nine cases all together (ten if you included Carl) but Atkinson and Wallace only had knowledge of eight of them, the other still festering in a box. If only they knew what lay inside that box or at the bottom of the River Humber, it would blow the whole case open and Victoria would be a suspect in a matter of hours.
Nick Atkinson, Wallace Wallace and his team of computer geeks, administrators and foot patrollers where all gathered for the usual morning briefing. Some staff had changed from the original group who had sat down ten months ago to be informed that Hull had a suspected serial killer on the loose. This morning was led by Detective Wallace who informed the team that they wanted all members of Nobel and Sons background checked for any crimes, misdemeanours or cautions. They were also interviewing them one by one today to hear all of their stories. They were told that if they spoke to any of the workers, they were only to mention the case of the Duckerton couple, no others. The Detectives did not want even the slightest hint that there may be a serial killer on the loose in Hull. They were both from Hull and knew what the people of this City would do until the real perpetrator had been caught. Previous killers had been hunted down and the slightest sniff of someone being a suspect had resulted in that person being almost kicked to death and their families hounded and forced to flee the City. As the room emptied and the staff all took up their collective duties, Atkinson and Wallace stayed sat in the meeting room.
“Do you think one of these employees is the killer?” Wallace asked “because if they are, we are going to be asked why we haven’t come up with this before now.”
“I know but there has been just so much frustration with the lack of evidence hasn’t there? We have tried so hard by pulling up the interiors of the house apart to find even the smallest amount of evidence. If it wasn’t for James in forensics noticing that all of the furniture was bought from the same company, we’d still be without a lead.”
“I know, I just feel like either of us should have picked up on this sooner. It’s staring us in the face really.”
“Let’s just be thankful that it has been spotted now and get our questions ready. This is gonna be a long day so I hope you brought the Tangfastics and strong coffee.”
The day was indeed long as both Detectives left their jobs at 10.15pm. Two of the workers did not have alibis for the night the Duckerton’s were murdered but one of those had interested both Detectives more than the other. He was called Stephen Wetherall, he lived alone, his family had appeared to have disowned him, had no social or love interests and spent every waking moment not at work watching TV programmes like CSI. Atkinson and Wallace had spent two hours just talking to Stephen but had to release him as it was a voluntary interview and had nothing to pin on him. However, it hadn’t stopped them put an officer outside of his house to watch him overnight.
At 6.48am the officer watching Stephen’s house watched as he walked past his car and into his house. The officer hadn’t seen him leave but here he was returning with a carrier bag in his hand. He text Atkinson and Wallace what he had just seen and immediately answered a call from Atkinson.
To say that he wasn’t happy was an understatement, but that unhappiness would manifest a thousand fold when the news of another murder scene was called in at two o’clock that afternoon.
Mr and Mrs Rowbotham were both local entertainers, trying their best to break into the entertainment industry. They traveled the country as a double act with their show named ‘Formidable’, a mixture of mind reading, mentalism and magic. They had been to visit Victoria at the shop about eight months ago to ask about purchasing a new bedroom. Victoria had suspected that both of them at one point had tried to flirt with her and also tried to get the furniture cheaper by planting mind tricks in her head. These techniques did not work on here as she has found out from a previous experience on a stage when she was nineteen years old. The hypnotist had tried to get a line of people on stage to walk about like farm animals whenever they heard the noise of a tractor. The technique had worked with all but two, Victoria of course being one of them. The hypnotist had spoken less than kind to both of them, and ordered them off the stage with his hand over the microphone.
They duo had just performed their show for the last night of their run at the Hull New Theatre, an honour for anyone local to Hull to play. Other venues they had played at throughout the country had been more well-known but to them a stretch of shows at Hull New Theatre was a dream come true and a reminder of when they had seen Derren Brown perform there on many occasions.
The stage door opened and out they stepped into the cold air on Jarrett Street to be met by a couple of dozen loyal fans who followed them all over the country. Victoria, who had been down the street waiting for the stars to emerge, started her car and drove as quick but as legal as she could to beat them returning home.
One of the fans approached Liam and asked if he would sign her thigh, which Liam replied “Of course, anything to please my fans” and he winked at the young adoring woman. The partner of the young woman had his picture taken with Hayley and gave her a pinch on the bottom after it was taken. Now usually Hayley would have hit out at such brazen behaviour from a stranger but after she spotted the wink she felt it was fair game.
As soon as the duo got into their car, the eruption began.
Victoria could hear the remnants of the argument as they got out of the car and both doors slammed. She sighed at the amount of times she lay waiting, an argument or a disagreement would spoil her proceedings and she would have to postpone the kill for another night. The front door opened and the noise from the now revved up heated discussion had turned into the time Liam had thought Hayley was about to leave him for another magician. This magician had been in the same social circle as Liam whilst studying and had become more famous in a shorter space of time. Of course Hayley would never leave Liam as he was her everything and he continued to genuinely amaze her every night with new little bits of the act that he would try out.
“All I am saying is that if we are really nice with our fan base, they will tell, tweet and Facebook their peers how good and nice we were, making it easier to become more famous and get what we deserve.” was the end of the conversation Victoria heard as Hayley had decided not to answer that statement. The couple must have sat in silence for a good twelve minutes when all of a sudden Hayley piped up with.
“Well if you aren’t going to apologise, I am sleeping in the car”
“You can’t sleep in the car babes. If you are that cross, I will sleep down here and you go upstairs”
“No” Hayley replied, sticking to her guns “If you don’t feel the need to apologise for winking at a fan after signing her thigh, then I am sleeping in the car.”
Victoria heard Hayley rushing up the stairs, rifle through the bedding in the next cupboard, literally inches away from her, grab some, return downstairs, take the car keys, open the door and locked herself in the car.
Liam looked on out of the front door at his wife sat in their car trying to get comfortable and snuggle up with a duvet in a Vauxhall Astra. Liam walked over to the car, knocked on the window and told her to come back into the house. After a dozen knocks and bein ignored; Liam turned around, shut the front door, locked it and went to the drinks cabinet.
Five decent sized tots of finest malt whiskey later and Liam was ready for bed. He peeked out of the window and saw Hayley still in the car but not moving. He knew she could get to sleep easily, but in a car was a new accomplishment. A mumble of some derogatory comment left his mouth but it was the whiskey talking and he made his way up the stairs.
It was 2.13am and to say that Victoria’s patience was wearing thin was an understatement. The thought had crossed her mind to leave it tonight but these bastards had kept her waiting so she was going to make them pay. At 2.36am Liam was fast asleep, she crept out of her hiding place and almost hovered over the floor to where he was asleep in bed. Curiosity got the better of her and she made her way out of the bedroom, down the stairs and into the front room. Victoria moved the curtains to one side and looked out of the window. Hayley’s body appeared to be curled up in the passenger seat and sound asleep.
Victoria returned upstairs with the deathly silence she had perfected and returned next to Liam’s almost semi-conscious state. The stare she was giving him would have probably scared him death if he had awoken, tilting her head from one side to the other and licking her lips. Her right leg bent at the knee closely followed by her left as she knelt gently next to him, opened her bag from under the bed and got out the handcuffs. These were the handcuffs without the chain in-between them, these had the solid black metal bar refraining any movement whatsoever.
The needle with pancuronium bromide entered Liam’s veins via his inner left elbow crease. The paralysing effect would last for a while but the handcuffs were a ‘just in case’ alternative. Victoria could slice his throat to silence him quite easily if the chemical ran out mid kill, but the security of the handcuffs would make the action even easier. The good thing about pancuronium is that the person can be a feel everything that is happening to them but cannot do or say anything about it.
One set of handcuffs came out of the bag as Victoria grabbed Liam’s right hand and fixed it to the head rest. This action awoke Liam from his slumber but, as though he was in a nightmare, he could only look at what was happening to him. His left arm arose with this person gripping it, attaching it to the headboard with handcuffs. It was then that he noticed that his other arm was also cuffed there too but he could not feel them. His eyes darted back to Victoria, whose figure glistened in her kill suit. Whatever little curves she had, this suit showed them off perfectly. The fact that she was completely naked underneath was more than visible as he scanned her whole body.
A string of stinging nettles made their way out of the bag like a conjuror’s trick with multi coloured handkerchiefs. The more Victoria pulled at them, the more became visible to Liam. When there was a sufficient amount in her hands, she laid them all over Liam’s all but naked body. He could feel them bristle over his skin and hoped that is where they remaining, he was wrong. With a lunge Victoria rubbed the nettles into Liam’s skin like a mother does with a rolling pin, ensuring the pastry is a thin as possible. The screams from the stings never materialised but the pain definitely existed, he could feel each and every one of the stings entering his upper torso. Liam watched as Victoria stood, bent over her evil bag of tricks and rose up with a thick piece of string and a pair of scissors. The smile beamed on her face, only visible to Liam by the eyes was no even more unsettling for him to see.
Her hand again brushed the nettles as it made its way to his bedtime boxer shorts. With the far three fingers on her right hand, Victoria pulled down the boxers, exposing Liam’s manhood. Knelt either side of his legs she held out the string and pulled it tight, made a small knot that Liam knew well and when she pulled it, the knot disappeared. The string was again held out tight but this time Victoria lowered her arms and tied the string around his genitals, pulled the string as hard as she could until his penis and testicles were visibly darker even in the dark.
He then noticed her tying yet another knot three times, he knew these ones would not pull out and as the makeshift weapon came into view all Victoria could see was Liam’s mouth gaping as wide as it could in an attempt to make any noise possible. As she sliced the base of the crumbled set of genitals, his unsheathed testicles fell onto the bed with a blanket of blood surrounding them.
Liam watched as she got back down from the bed and returned to her bag. This time when she rose, he knew he didn’t have long left. For in her hand was the shiniest saw he had ever seen. The moonlight shining into his bedroom reflected onto his face from the surface. Victoria looked Liam straight into his eyes, no more than two inches away from his and spoke. “Think you are better than me now do you? Goodbye” as the saw severed the tops layers of skin with its first stroke. Liam was still hoping that this was some disgustingly awful vivid nightmare and in any moment he would wake up in a cold sweat. He never of course, he just continued to see the saw fall deeper into her waist band until death caught up to him.
Victoria stood over the body of the now ex magician and marvelled that the ideas she had thought about had worked. However, all the time she had spent waiting for them to stop arguing and then waiting for Liam to drink himself tired had given her another idea.
Five minutes it took her to draw an eye winking on his chest with her homemade weapon. She was so pleased that it actually looked like what it was supposed to be, she signed ‘Liam’ onto his upper thigh too.
Hayley still lay sound asleep in the passenger side of the car as Victoria past it. As the car door shut behind her and she removed part of her kill suit, she held a large stone in her hand. She started the engine and as she drove past, threw the stone at the car Hayley was asleep in. This of course woke her up, she turned around to see the front door open so she went inside to investigate.
“How could that jumped up little shit let Stephen out of his site? I mean how did he get out of the house without him seeing anything but walk back into it as brazen as you like?” Wallace ranted to Atkinson.
“How do I know?” Unless he fell asleep which he isn’t admitting to, I have no clue. Both exits from the front and back of the house lead to where he could have seen him leaving.”
The conversation continued along these lines for another twelve minutes until they reached Liam and Hayley’s house on Pickering Road. Atkinson got out of the car and immediately noticed the park and woodland area almost opposite their house. As they entered the house sans Hayley, who had been taken to the Police Station already, they could smell the stench of death in the air. The Detectives approached the Officer who had been waiting for them to arrive. He had made himself a cup of tea and some toast whilst he waited, after all forensics had been and gone by now as well as the arresting Officers who had taken Hayley into custody for suspected murder.
“So” the Officer started, rubbing the crumbs from around his mouth “I guess fellas you are here because of this” and held his arm out to guide them up the stairs. “If you ask me, I reckon it is some love interest’s revenge killing.”
“We didn’t ask” Wallace snapped. “And we will make our minds up for ourselves” Atkinson butted in.
The pungent stench was becoming unbearable but nothing neither of them hadn’t come across before. As they turned onto the landing at the top of the stairs they could see Liam’s feet at the end of his bed, and as they walked closer they saw where his lower torso ended and his upper torso began. they where totally separated from each other.
“So these two are some sort of magical act” the Officer began to inform them “they had been performing at the New Theatre last night and neighbours said that they heard very raised voices upon their return, with one stating that Mrs Rowbotham had left the house and sat in the car with a duvet and a pillow. Both of those items were indeed in the car when the Officers arrived.”
“So why are we here?” Atkinson asked.
“Because of the nettles and the string. Someone obviously had to forethought to bring a string of stinging nettles tied together to, what it looks like, rub over his body before he was killed.”
“What, stinging nettles?” Wallace asked with bemusement.
“Yes and the rope, which can be bought from joke or magic shops like the one in Hepworth’s Arcade in town, was tied around his cock and bollocks then his sack was sliced, exposing his raw testicles, but they are missing.”
“So?” Atkinson asked, becoming weary of this Officer by the second.
“Well according to Melissa in forensics, who is a massive fan of his, he has never used a string in any of his acts, nor nettles. His garden is also all covered in slate and no nettles are there either.”
“But she could have got the nettles from the park across the road though” Wallace announced but then stopped when he saw the etching that had been carved into Liam’s chest with his name underneath. “It’s him” Wallace said with quiet conviction in his voice to Atkinson “I bet you twenty”.
“How can you be so sure?” Atkinson asked.
“I just have a feeling with the etching and like the Officer said, the forethought with the nettles. Even if his wife had returned into the house, I doubt she would have ran across the road to the park, neatly tie up some nettles and rub them over his body before killing him. The string didn’t convince me but I just know it is him.”
“If you are right, then it could be that this Stephen is more dangerous than we initially thought. We’re sure it’s him aren’t we? I am.”
“If this and the other killings aren’t his work, then he is up to something else that we don’t know about.”
The Officer left them to walk around the bedroom. They both took it in turns to stand in various parts of the bedroom and just look around them. Eight minutes past until Atkinson spoke up.
“If it wasn’t the wife, the killer would have already had to be in here or walk past her in the car to get into the house. Surely you would hear someone walking on the shale, past the car if you were in it.”
“Exactly, I just think that this looked all too prepared for the wife but I have been wrong lots of times before.”
On their way back to the station there was no conversation between the two. If the radio hadn’t have been bleating orders to his colleagues I swear they would have been able to hear each others cogs turning in their brains, trying out all scenarios possible in the minds.
Both men got out of the car, Wallace locked the car behind him with his key fob, greeted the Officer at the door with their badges, walked up into the crime room, picked up their telephones and called their boss. Within four minutes they were stood outside of the room where Hayley was being held. The arresting Officers did not look best pleased to see them, although they parted like school children when teachers turn up to break up a playground fight, as they all knew why they were there.
Atkinson and Wallace entered the room where Hayley was sat, makeup still smeared down her face like a freshly painted doll in the rain and sat on one of their most uncomfortable chairs that they had in the station. It was saved for the most deserving people and brought out of a scrap room for occasions just like these.
The Detectives listened for thirty five minutes to Hayley’s story, exactly how it had happened up until ringing the Police herself. She was protesting why she was a suspect when she had called it in but as it was explained to her, this happens a lot more than she thought. As the conversation continued, Wallace started to believe her story more and more. She stopped talking twice to retch into an already vomit lined bin that had been emptied twice for her.
“I just can’t get the image out of my head” Hayley kept saying “Handcuffed, cut in half, a drawing carved into his chest, his genitals mutilated and nettles all over him.”
“Do you recognise the symbol on his chest?” Wallace asked.
“No, to be honest I never really had a good look at it as I was too distraught. What is it?”
“To us it looks like an eye winking on his chest and his name carved onto his thigh” Atkinson explained.
Hayley hands raised up to her mouth in astonishment, both Detectives watched as the obviousness that she knew something about it was clear for even the weakest of psychics to pick up on it.
“What does that mean to you?” Wallace asked.
“Last night when we came out of the stage door, Liam signed a women’s thigh at her request and he winked at her as he stood up so I let her boyfriend feel my arse whilst having his picture taken with me. That is what we were arguing about when we came home.”
The Detectives looked at each other, halted the interview, stepped out of the interview room and told the Officers to replace Hayley’s chair with a more comfortable one. As they sat in the adjacent room, they surmised that the killer must have either already been in the house or seen this happen outside of the stage door. He could even have been the boyfriend of the girl who had her thigh signed.
Atkinson however still thought that it could be Hayley and that they could end up chasing a dead lead when the killer was already arrested. “Why don’t we just keep her here until we know for definite? We have enough evidence to do so and if we are wrong, we apologise and release her.” Wallace agreed, just in case his partner was correct but wanted to be at the post mortem to see what Joyce had to say. She wasn’t the most professional of forensic scientists that Wallace had met but her reports where the most detailed he had ever seen. If he had ever needed anyone to be in court with him on a difficult case, she would be the person to have on his side.
Later in the day the two Detectives stood covered in a blue apron and gloves, in the presence of Joyce Parker. She had ‘amusingly’ placed Liam’s feet touching his head on the slab so both severed ends were facing the outside of the table. “This person was good at his shit” she announced “I have been to see him quite a few times, I even got to shake his hand once. Now I can shake whatever I want I suppose” and snorted a laugh towards the Detectives, both of them staring at each other and face palming themselves. “No, not your cup of tea? What about the fact that he had a very small needle mark on the inside of his elbow? I have sent a tox screening off to see if anything was in his system before the time of death, I should have the results for you by the end of the evening unless something is found isn’t used regularly, then it should be the morning.”
“This Joyce is why you are the best” Wallace told her. She looked coy for a moment and then replied with “Stop shit licking me Wallace, I don’t need any praises, and I know how good I am.”
“I wasn’t, I was telling you the truth.”
“I’ve told you before, you can’t have any of this” rising her hands up from her thighs to her chest with her fingertips, covering her whole body “I already have a fine collection that would put both of you to shame” and she winked.
She continued her work, speaking into a Dictaphone the whole time. After seven minutes she paused the machine, looked at both of them and asked “If you are waiting for the cause of death then you aren’t as good as I thought you both were.”
“No, we are just admiring your work” Atkinson piped up “We like watching you work.”
“Pervs, now leave me alone while I caress each part of his body with my tongue in piece” and gave them both a wicked smile.
Both men left the room and returned to the office to check up on Stephen Wetherall’s whereabouts for the dozenth time that day. According to the Officer watching, he was still at work, doing overtime apparently. They pleaded with the Officer to stay awake tonight which was met with ferocious denials and they laughed together. They kept their superior updated with what was happening and when they had finished their paperwork, they made their way to the car park.
Wallace pressed the fob key to unlock the car door and they both opened their corresponding doors. The sight of the unsheathed testicles on their dashboard made both of them jump simultaneously.